Western Kentucky University will be hosting a blood drive in honor of Greek Week.
Greek Week is a competition in the spring each year among fraternities and sororities which consists of a Blood Drive, Spring Sing, Tug of War, Events Day, Banner Competition and CanStruct. Each of these events is worth a certain amount of points for each organization based on participation or placing in the event. The blood drive kicks off the week and will be in the Raymond B. Preston Health and Activities Center located on campus from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.
This is the second largest blood drive in the Tennessee Valley Region and largest drive on WKU’s campus, said Alex Kennedy, Greek Affairs coordinator.
Donors must meet the Red Cross’s requirements to be eligible to donate, some of which include having good health, being at least 17-years-old and weighing at least 110 pounds.
Each Greek organization competes in the blood drive to get as many volunteers to donate for their chapter. Also, the chapter that has the most alumni donors receives a plaque at an awards ceremony. Although the blood drive is used as a competition among members of the Greek community, anyone can participate.
”That’s a popular misconception,” Kennedy said. “People think that only Greeks can donate – anyone can donate. Even if you didn’t want to donate for a chapter, we still take the donation.”
Blood donated in the community usually stays in the region so donations made at the Preston Center could be used at the county’s two hospitals.
Collin Ray, a Greek Week blood drive committee member, encourages donors to visit redcrossblood.org/rapidpass the day of their donation to fill out their medical history. This allows donors to save time at the donation site and gives them priority over walk-ins.
“We encourage everybody to make an appointment and do rapid pass,” Ray said. “The faster they’re able to get blood taken out, the more people they’re able to get blood from.”
Last Greek Week, 1,300 units of blood were donated. One unit of blood can save up to three lives.
Ray wants to make this blood drive the biggest in the region. “I think through community involvement that is going to help us attain our goal,” he said.